When leaders undervalue their workers, they are only making life harder on themselves. A devalued team is a disengaged, demotivated and dissonant team. Leaders don’t generally set out to decrease motivation and squash engagement; it’s just something that happens without strategic leadership.
The acknowledgement that we all know is so crucial for a healthy workforce tends to get lost in the day-to-day of business. Don’t stress, it happens to the best of leaders, but the first step is to recognize the problem. Be sure that you’re not guilty of these everyday ways that you could be unwittingly devaluing your employees.
Things are running smoothly, so giving feedback isn’t necessary.
Wrong! Employees need constant feedback, even when it is just business as usual. There are periods of time in almost every company in which a team is simply maintaining, or on autopilot. That is no excuse to shut the office door and kick back. Facing a less demanding time in business can be dangerous; leaders might let motivation and engagement slowly slip away while they are in hands-off mode.
43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week, compared to only 18% of employees with low engagement. Feedback shouldn’t be reliant on the state of business, but rather a strategic part of everyday leadership.
Assuming your team doesn’t have any feedback for you.
Keep in mind that as a leader, you might not be as approachable as you think. Beyond that, leaders should always facilitate a two-way dialogue with their workforce, and this can often mean that they will need to encourage workers to speak up.
Build this into quarterly reviews, solicit feedback at meetings, encourage employee engagement survey participation and create an open door communication policy.
“No employee wants to be just a faceless cog. No matter how big or small your organization is, employees who don't feel like they have a voice can drain the oxygen out of other employees, lower productivity rates, and even cause increased turnover. Employees who feel voiceless are more likely to be a drag on the day-to-day mood around the office.” - Tim Donnelly, Inc. Contributor
You aren’t facilitating their personal goals.
Leaders are often not even aware that creating and communicating career paths with and for employees is a vital part of their role. It’s not exactly something you see included in the average manager’s job reqs. Even in those organizations which hold regular performance reviews, employees will often still have no clear understanding of how to move vertically or even horizontally within the organization.
Be sure that you take the time to discuss all development and training programs available to your workers. Regularly revisit goals and ensure that you are facilitating the alignment between personal goals and those of the organization.
Your performance review process is archaic.
The top 3 emotions that are associated with traditional performance reviews are frustration, anxiety and boredom. The performance review processes that most organizations are using today are incredibly ineffective, and downright disliked.
Of those employees surveyed, 63% of them dislike performance reviews because they believed that they are not a true indicator of performance. Instead, institute 360-performance reviews in which manager assessments, peer reviews and self-assessments provide a much more accurate and complete picture of performance.
Micromanaging undermines skills and accountability.
Again, it is almost always the case that micromanagers aren’t even aware of their hovering ways. A recent study of over 7,000 workers in Norway found that people who work in stressful environments and who are micromanaged are more likely to take extended sick leave.
Instead of managing them right out of the office, consider building accountability into your office culture. There are some great project management technologies available that build accountability and transparency into everyday communications.
Making sure that your workforce feels valued, recognized and supported isn’t just a great retention strategy, a valued workforce is a productive, motived and engaged workforce. In order to build and maintain a healthy workplace, constant recognition needs to be a strategic part of leadership.
Want to learn more about project management technology that alerts your managers of employee successes in real-time, making effective recognition a breeze? Take a demo now.
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